When producer Keaton Wooden approached me about reviewing LVRS “a magical realism short film about love and abuse” I admit I was envisioning something different. Something dark, along the lines of Tigers Are Not Afraid. To my surprise, the film, written and directed by its star Emily Bennett is a brightly lit, somewhat surreal look at a very serious subject, domestic violence.
A woman (Emily Bennett, House Of The Witchdoctor) and a man (Cole Simon, Chrysalis) awake in a white room. His face is obscured by a mirror reflecting her happy loving face. And it continues to reflect that even as he destroys her and remakes her to his satisfaction.
He crushes her toes but gives her beautiful red shoes. He angrily rips her hair out but gives her a stunning wig. And the abuse continues to a truly shattering conclusion.
While using symbolism and surreal imagery more than realism LVRS gets its point across very clearly and, at times, shockingly. And all the while the woman remains smiling, a reflection on the feelings that keep somebody in an abusive relationship. Anyone who’s been in one, or close to someone in one knows just how strong those feelings can run. And the final image reminds us the effects can stretch beyond those directly involved.
LVRS has been picked up by ALTER after a well-received festival run. And that’s a good thing because it’s a film that deserves to be seen. And it’s a perfect choice for Women In Horror Month.
LVRS will have an online premiere on ALTER February 12th and will show in LA, Chicago, and NYC on February 14th as part of ALTER and Nighthawk’s late-night Valentine’s event, Roses Are Dead on February 14/15 in LA, NYC, and Chicago on the 14th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.